Shanghai, Pudong area (Photo:Freemages)Construction began on a massive polar-themed ocean park in the Pudong New Area that is scheduled to open in 2017.

Shanghai Haichang Polar Ocean World — which is set to cover almost 30 hectares — will include 12 display venues, four marine animal interactive programs, three theaters and another 15 entertainment facilities, said developer Haichang Holdings. Haichang said the park aims to showcase a broad range of Arctic and Antarctic wildlife, but did not give details. Teams involved in the design of Disneyland and Sea World parks have been invited to help with planning and concept design, said officials. The developer said these teams will help coordinate the park's overall function, combining entertainment and education with animal displays. Haichang also said that the park will combine both international and Chinese elements — especially Shanghai features — but gave no details.

The park will also work with the Sea World in Hong Kong and Polar Research Institute of China in animal conservation. Shanghai Haichang Polar Ocean World will be located near Dishui Lake — also known as Waterdrop Lake — in the Lingang area at the southeast of the city.

It's a one-and-a-half-hour drive from People's Square in the city center and 30 minutes by car from Pudong International Airport. By Metro, it will take 42 minutes to travel from Longyang Road station in the Pudong New Area to Dishuihu station once Metro Line 16 is complete.

Metro Line 2 and numerous bus routes connect with Longyang Road station. The developer says Shanghai Haichang Polar Ocean World is expected to attract 6 million visitors a year and form, along with Shanghai Disneyland, the largest tourist destination in east Asia.

Shanghai Disneyland, which is only 25 minutes drive from the polar park, is set to open next year.

(Source: Shanghai Daily)